By Megan Bianco
For the past two months the Academy Awards have been through some pretty embarrassing developments. Whether it be not being able to find a suitable host, or deciding to nix certain categories from being broadcast live, or breaking the tradition of previous acting winners presenting the new Best Actor and Actress, it doesn’t look good.
Perhaps the less time wasted on a host not relevant to the awards ceremony, the better. But the other changes make both ABC Network and the Academy come across as a bit amateurish. The supposed rationale is that the changes will speed up the live show and raise ratings. That is somewhat understandable, as even a dedicated fan can be bored after four hours. But at least the Oscars had the distinction of being the one awards show to feature every single category.
On the other hand, the Screen Actors Guild had their first-ever host last month, Megan Mullaly. It didn’t hurt the show, but didn’t necessarily improve it either.
The Grammys make more time for their annual tribute segments than the actual winners, making the whole show feel more like a concert than an awards ceremony. Because of this, a lot of music fans see the Grammys as kind of a sham — on top of the usual questionable voting procedures.
With the Oscars, we usually get to see every thing on stage with a live taping. The one thing that could speed up the process is “wrap up music cues” during the acceptance speeches. If you look up some of the acceptance speeches from the old Hollywood days, the average speech was just a thank you and a couple of shout-outs to people relevant to the film. Now not only do winners thank everyone they’ve ever met, but they also feel obliged to make some kind of important statement at the end, even though they’re encouraged to keep it short.
Maybe this month we’ll get another Rita Moreno moment where a winner is so shocked all they say is “I don’t believe it! I’ll leave you with that.” Otherwise, what’s the point of all this? Shortening award shows isn’t a bad idea, but choosing to skip over selected categories does is come across as rude — like the “little people” don’t matter as much.
Just go back to acceptance speeches with “thank you and good night.”
Megan Bianco is a Southern California-based movie reviewer and content writer with a degree from California State University Northridge.
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